There exists two portrayals of the ugly duckling of Noir who is one of my favourite femmes from the screen versions of Edward Anderson's Thieves Like Us . She is a more a doomed lover on the run than a femme fatale and unusual in a number of ways. In Nicholas Ray's 1948 They Live by Night ,which is around the fringes of my top ten Noirs from the 'classic' era, Kathy O'Donnell is my own favourite but Shelley Duvall also has her moments in Altman's 1974 version.
The highway stretched on like a long ribbon of wet funeral cloth; the rain-drunk weeds of the right-of-way rushing behind.
Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass.
The Most Beautiful Woman in Town
Silence closed over the car again. They raced through the headlight-tunneled night, and the black walls snapped shut behind them. Time and space were the immediate moment. Behind and beyond it there was only darkness.
Although Wong Kar Wai's 2000 In the Mood for Love shot by Christopher Doyle and David Lean's 1945 Brief Encounter by Robert Kraskercannot be described at straight Films Noir the dark visual style and trust/betrayal theme give them both a direct link.
In each case the soundtrack backs up the power of the film. Nat King Cole vocals in Spanish amidst cramped apartment spaces and Rachmaninoff's classical pieces in a bleak, almost empty train station add brilliant touches.
Did you ever see Dallas from a DC9 at night
Dallas is a jewel oh Dallas is a beautiful sight
But Dallas is a jungle and Dallas gives a beautiful light
Did you ever see Dallas from a DC at night
Well Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes
A steel and concrete soul and a warm heart and love disguise
A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies
Yeah Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes
The hypnotic performance of Jeanne Moreau is one of the best parts of Malle's 1958 French Noir classic. It's weird plot, Henri Decae cinematography and the Miles Davis Soundtrack are others. The unpredictable series of events involving that old Noir theme of mistaken identity take place over one Parisian night and the movie lasts only 88 minutes.
In the final moment before the blackness, she felt acute irritation with the formlessness, the messiness of it. This was destruction and waste, devoid of pattern and meaning. She would be helpless amongst strangers.
...............no matter how much you pay for your ticket, no matter how many brass rings you snatch, it's only a matter of time before our place is taken by the next customer emerging from some womb to start the ride.
When cinematographer Gordon Willis started on The Godfather he had only worked on one film although it was the excellent Klute. His distinctinctive style using dark shades and actors' faces partly in shadow would earn him the nickname 'Prince of Darkness'. It was also the case that Oranges can be spotted in several scenes as it was thought the fruit would provide a contrast to the darker hues.